California takes a step toward banning spanking!

 

The California Democratic Committee pass resolution to ban spanking this August, 2019!

 

Ending Physical/Corporal Punishment of Children

RESOLUTION NUMBER 19-05.112

WHEREAS there is overwhelming evidence that spanking is harmful to children and families as it increases aggression and violence long term, impacts normal brain development, and is ineffective in teaching responsibility and self-control, and the rationale for spanking is the same that was accepted for men hitting women in recent history; and 

WHEREAS there is consensus among international and national human rights advocates that spanking violates children’s human rights, and at least seven human rights treaties include physical violence against children under the guise of discipline; the United Nations has said unequivocally that corporal punishment is a form of violence against children, and 54 countries around the world—a majority—have already banned all physical punishment, and California leads the nation on progress for our most vulnerable populations, as well as for respecting science; and

 WHEREAS the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Psychological Association, American Association of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and dozens of other organizations have advocated banning all physical punishment, and researchers have concluded that spanking is a form of violence against children that should no longer be a part of American childrearing;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party is opposed to any physical/corporal punishment in any educational, detention, childcare facility or institution, or any other setting; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the California Democratic Party supports a ban on all physical/corporal punishment of any person of any age in any setting and supports strong educational programs, parenting classes, evidence-supported early intervention programs during pregnancy and well-child visits, and other programs and policies that reduce spanking.

For more information on the argument supporting a spanking ban, read Amy Bacharach's article, "It's Time to Ban Spanking."

Robbyn Peters Bennett, founder of StopSpanking and board member of the US Alliance to End the Hitting of Children responds to the fear of criminalizing African American families.

Resources for Parents who need better alternatives.

Add Comment

Comments (9)

Newest · Oldest · Popular

Thanks Robyn,

I agree with you. It is certainly through the co-regulating relationship with another who is regulated that parents can heal. I’ll have to think about this and will comment with some more ideas and I look forward to yours.  

Marcia Stanton posted:

FYI - Oct. 3, 2019 - Scotland becomes first UK country to ban smacking: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-sc...nd-politics-49908849

 

So exciting! It is incredible to see colonial nations that carry such a deep attachment to violence/war who historically have promoted practices of violent child rearing, begin to heal and embrace their children with love. France banned spanking last year!

It will be a huge evolutionary step toward healing and peace when the United States bans spanking (legalized domestic violence against children.) I see it on the horizon!

Tina Cain posted:

Thanks Robyn, 

Always love work by Dr. Porges..... 

I’m curious, Do you know about the work of this individual?  

https://www.cambridge.org/core...E22006A0/core-reader

Thank you for sharing! I do believe the idea that violence is not learned goes against the neurodevelopmental evidence that behavior is adaptive and a function of memory and prior experience. Of course, some of that experience is epigenetic, but it is learned and is experience nonetheless spanning across generations. So even violence is learned, in essence.

Naturally, small children are more dysregulated, but to conceptualize this as "violence" may be too narrow a construct. The degree of dysregulation has more to do with the environmental scaffolding that co-regulates the child's experience.  It is why I believe that we need to do more than "educate" parents, which implies that they need more information. What parents need is an experience of being in a co-regulating relationship that then calms and heals their nervous system. From that foundation, parents are online enough to find information useful and relevant. It is why I often share this link below, because parents can join supportive communities. In my mind, it isn't about information (cognitive), but about safety in community (emotional, nervous system.)

https://stopspanking.org/resources/

CONCLUSIONS

Both glamorising and demonising violence help us avoid having to understand the violent mind. We should enter the violent person's subjective world, not just in order to be able to offer treatment, but also to anticipate the nature of the risks they embody both to themselves and to society. To explain is not to exculpate, but understanding is the first step in the prevention of violence. The answer to the riddle of how individuals can lose restraint over their propensity to injure others must lie in what is ordinary rather than extraordinary: normal human development.

MENTALISATION

The development of mentalisation

It has been suggested that our progress from non-human primate to Homo sapiens rests in our capacity to understand others’ subjective experience (Tomasello, 1999), what my colleagues and I have called ‘mentalisation’ (Fonagy et al, 2002). Assuming that others have minds enables us to work together. However, there is a price to pay for increased harmony. The natural urge to control the behaviour of less powerful members of our group through the threat of violence becomes maladaptive (De Waal, 2000). The threat of physical violence directly interferes with mentalisation and thus it is essential to curb it. It remains adaptive in harsh social environments, such as Romanian orphanages (Smyke et al, 2002), but within the ‘normative primordial troop’ it was free exploration of the other's mind that ensured survival.

The conflicting requirements of retaining the potential for violence in environments beyond interpersonal understanding, and of inhibiting it in the context of the social group, led to the evolution of the device of making violence largely incompatible with a simultaneous representation of the subjective state of the other. The latter capacity (for mentalisation) became linked to attachment, so that we learn about minds – ours and those of others – through experiencing our internal states being understood by another mind (Fonagy et al, 2002). This is why physical aggression gradually disappears from children's behavioural repertoire over the early years of life. Physical aggression, the wish to control the other by damaging or disabling them, becomes taboo, along with incest. Attachment marks both kinds of associations.

Tina Cain posted:

Robyn, 

What do you think about the need to teach parents about attachment?    It’s very likely that securely attached parents would not feel any need to result to physical violence; certainly they wouldn’t need verbal assault and would be the parents who are available to the child to protect the child from going on to experience ACEs.   A disorganized mother who isn’t getting massively intensive services has very little emotional control or impulse control - and often does use emotional and physical violence against the child or if she doesn’t use explicit abuse herself - the look on her face and the tone of voice and her greater likelihood to hand over her child to a partner who will engage in physical and emotional abuse is far greater than a mother who is actively seeking earned secure Attachment.

Thanks

Yes, I think teaching parents about attachment is so important, and especially teaching them about their own nervous system and how punitive parenting activates their own system putting them in a state of defense as well as their child. We need to provide parents with resources and support to heal their own nervous system and to find more trust-based parenting strategies that help them move out of fear and into greater safety with their children. Here is a webinar interview with Dr. Stephen Porges that we shared in our positive parenting community to help people better understand these concepts.  https://youtu.be/DNIozAiorZA

What I like about this resolution is that it requires funding for parenting support which helps us address ACEs upstream. And of course, it is no surprise that spanking is also an ACE and is the most prevalent risk factor for physical child abuse.

Robyn, 

What do you think about the need to teach parents about attachment?    It’s very likely that securely attached parents would not feel any need to result to physical violence; certainly they wouldn’t need verbal assault and would be the parents who are available to the child to protect the child from going on to experience ACEs.   A disorganized mother who isn’t getting massively intensive services has very little emotional control or impulse control - and often does use emotional and physical violence against the child or if she doesn’t use explicit abuse herself - the look on her face and the tone of voice and her greater likelihood to hand over her child to a partner who will engage in physical and emotional abuse is far greater than a mother who is actively seeking earned secure Attachment.

Thanks

Post
×
×
×
×